Longtime Faculty Member Had Been Serving In Interim Capacity
By MEGAN WILLIAMS
Daily News-Record 12/20/18
HARRISONBURG — Mike Busing got his first taste of the business world working in his family’s meat packaging company in Indiana. Busing said that’s where he believes he got his work ethic.
But after years of working in the business, Busing’s dad told him to work hard in school so that he wouldn’t come back to the family trade.
“He said study really hard and don’t come back to the family business,” said Busing, who on Tuesday was named dean of the James Madison University College of Business.
His father’s advice to work hard in school would take him out of his home state to Clemson University, where he received his doctorate in industrial management. In 1996, he came to JMU, first as an assistant business professor.
JMU received more than 90 applications for that teaching position and Busing, to this day, jokes that he isn’t sure how his rose to the top.
“I think I just made some people laugh,” he said.
In his more than 20 years at Madison, Busing has seen the university grow from 10,000 students to 22,000. During his tenure, he’s taught under the leadership of three presidents.
After 15 years in the classroom, the position of the director of the MBA programs became available and Busing decided to go for it. From there, he rose to the position of associate dean of academic affairs.
“I will only consider it if there is a chance to be successful,” Busing said of seeking the dean’s post. “It’s a scary transition.”
Earlier this year, he was asked to serve as interim dean of the College of Business. This week, the university announced that the appointment had been made permanent.
Busing’s vision is to build the business school’s national reputation by seizing opportunities to fully engage the student body with an alumni network of over 32,000 individuals representing accredited programs, the Hart School of Hospitality, Sport
and Recreation Management, as well as the School of Strategic Leadership Studies, a boutique doctoral program, according to a JMU press release.
He is also interested in establishing mentoring and coaching programs to increase career readiness for graduates. Part of this program will involve growing the internship program, as well as implementing a “high engagement practice” portfolio opportunity for all students.
Focus on Madison’s College of Business has grown in recent years, as has investment in the college, which has 209 faculty and staff members and more than 5,200 students enrolled, representing a quarter of the university’s student body.
Now housed in Zane-Showker Hall, the college will soon move into a new College of Business Learning Complex. Groundbreaking on the complex took place in October and construction is scheduled to wrap up in 2020.
The complex will more than double the available space for the college and offer cutting-edge technology and productivity areas.
The project is being paid for through a combination of state funds and private philanthropy. According to the university, JMU has raised $12.5 million to date toward its $16.4 million goal for the project.
Additionally, Busing plans to work with faculty and staff to design specialized master’s and certificate programs that offer alumni and others the opportunity to stay relevant in their professions.
“Business education has evolved to become all about relationships,” Busing said. “As the life cycle of competitive skill sets decreases, graduates from all of our programs need to be in the habit of looking to JMU for retooling.”